The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge the world has faced for decades. It’s also an unprecedented socio-economic crisis, causing huge stress to societies and individuals alike.
Education has been one of the worst-affected sectors. Schools and colleges weren’t simply prepared for a crisis of this magnitude. They were forced to suspend classes and social distancing and wearing masks became the norm, all within a few days. Suddenly, everybody switched to online learning which wasn’t easy.
Education suffered a series of disruptions causing great difficulties and tension to teachers and students. Though everybody is aware of this, there is one fallout which hasn’t received the attention it deserves – the impact of these disruptions on the mental health of students.
Even though schools are providing adequate support to students throughout this difficult period, that’s not enough to reduce the anxiety and stress of students. This crisis is having a huge impact on the mental health of students, and what’s worrisome is that many students who need help may not be seeking it for various reasons.
A survey among students by the American Psychological Association found that 52 per cent of students reported feelings of hopelessness and 39 per cent reported depression due to Covid-19. These are huge numbers, and apply not only to America, but other countries, too.
This means it’s the duty of every parent and teacher to make sure that our children don’t fall prey to depression and stress in this extraordinary situation.
There are effective stress management techniques which we must use. First of all, students must get enough sleep – night sleep is essential for keeping away stress. Seven to nine hours of sleep for young adults is recommended by doctors and experts.
Secondly, close communication and interactions with family members and friends will help reduce stress. So, students must find time for socializing and interactions which will help dispel a feeling of isolation.
Third, exercise is good for one’s body and mind; it helps improve mood and boosts our energy.
Fourth, they must plan their schedule and organize themselves in such a way that their minds don’t remain idle and succumb to stress. Try not to sit for hours, and take a break frequently which is good for mind. Go for a walk and just look at the nature and watch the sights and activities around. There is no better way to refresh the mind and fill it with joy and peace.
Listening to motivational speeches and attending such classes will help a lot in this adverse situation. This is because due to Covid-19, students are not much engaged in co-curricular activities which may cause feelings of demotivation and incompetence etc. Moreover, being not surrounded by peer groups adds to feelings of low self-esteem as they can’t seek help for completing their respective tasks.
The biggest negative impact of this pandemic has been that the productivity of children is its lowest.
Finally, to achieve the goal and vision of a bright future, it’s the duty of every parent to create a pleasant environment at home which is conductive to learning. Moreover, we must encourage our children to follow a healthy routine, have a balanced diet and get adequate sleep. Children are our greatest treasure and they are our future. Inspire them and motivate them as they are gifts of God.